The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


November 22, 2013

Sawdust of gold in Clinton's past

It is often said that “Clinton, Iowa was built on sawdust.”

Indeed, excavations will often find tons of solidified mashed-up sawdust underneath both Clinton and Lyons. This area had many creeks and swamps which were filled in over time; our beautiful riverfront was formed by this strategy.

It behooves us to return occasionally to our economic and historical roots, revisiting why the city of Clinton is here, on the banks of the Mississippi, and how it influenced America’s growth. It is important to know and appreciate how our founders built a beautiful community and, also, come to realize that we need to revere and preserve what they had the foresight to provide — via trees, parks, schools, streets, historic homes and buildings, libraries, etc. — for future generations.

Specifically, they provided Jane Lamb Hospital, the land for the Carnegie Library, Eagle Point Park (formerly Joyce’s Park), the YWCA, YMCA, the Women’s Club, and donations to colleges and much more.

Many of the founding fathers were rich beyond belief, and they contributed in a variety of other ways. In its early days, Clinton’s economy was booming — and nothing more so than the lumber industry. Literally “steaming” along, it hired many hundreds of workers by itself.

The Lambs, Youngs, and Joyces were the three really big sawmill millionaires, but there were lesser-known ones, also. Woodworking became a satellite industry, and the Curtis’ (in Clinton) and the Disbrows (in Lyons) provided still more jobs to yet more people. And those are only a few examples of businesses from Clinton’s past.

Importantly, those historic leaders created jobs with every endeavor they undertook: railroads, lumber and more than 250 other businesses were created all in one thriving little river town. In those days, a person could leave one job and have another by sundown.

Text Only
  • Longman.jpg Stars and stripes to fly at half-staff

    Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has ordered all flags in Iowa to be flown at half-staff from 5 p.m. today until 8 a.m. Monday in honor of a World War II airman, whose remains were recovered more than 70 years after being killed in action.
    Lt. Louis L. Longman, a 26-year old at the time he was last seen April 16, 1944, was a Clinton native. He served with the U.S. Army Air Corps Air Force and when he was last seen, his unit was returning from a B-25 bomber escort mission over Hollandia, New Guinea.

    April 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • DeBey building Program highlights newspaper's impact FULTON, Ill. -- A presentation Sunday will focus on the historical aspect of a Fulton newspaper. The program about the Fulton Journal will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Fulton Museum, 707 10th Ave. Refreshments will be served. The Fulton (Martin Ho

    April 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • Drive-in theatre dominant Clinton's own drive-in theater Spring brings many thoughts, but taking the family out to see a big-screen movie at the Clinton Drive-In Theatre on Iowa 136 and North 16th Street is sadly no longer an option. Large families were thirsting for family activities after World War II.

    April 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • 140407_GT_OUT_Forster_1.jpg Revolutionary War flag could fetch millions at auction

    An iconic piece of history from the Revolutionary War is up for auction through Doyle New York, an auction and appraising company in New York City.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Clinton woman featured in World War II photo exhibit CHICAGO -- A portrait of one of the Clinton women who wiped grime from railroad locomotives during World War II is featured in a new exhibition at the Chicago History Museum, "Railroaders: Jack Delano's Homefront Photography." She is Dorothy (Steven

    March 29, 2014

  • Longmann 70 years in the making: WWII soldier to be honored Imagine three boys, orphaned in the midst of the Great Depression, moving from Minnesota to an adjacent state to live with extended family. How hard it would be to lose both parents and, then, have to move away and take up a new life in a strange tow

    March 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dale Gardner astronaut collage Let's celebrate our successful people There are many famous and successful people who have called Clinton home. We need to celebrate their lives as well as all of their contributions. Recently, former astronaut Dale Gardner, 65, died. He and two other astronauts have connections with Cli

    March 14, 2014 3 Photos

  • Herrity history Another look at winter memories Recently, a newspaper proclaimed, "It's Official, 2014 is Worst Winter in Memory." Not so fast, 20-somethings. Don't discount many octogentarians who will recall those swirling winds of 1936. Winters of old are legendary for hard times caused by sev

    February 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • High school building High school correspondence: '68 and '88

    Not even a towering inferno which destroyed their high school could deplete the resiliency of the CHS students of 1968. This is the story of the sophomore English class of Mrs. Jaeger on May 29, 1968. They had just endured living through a horrible

    January 31, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • A glimpse of Clinton in the past

    1855 was a year that saw a number of significant events.

    December 30, 2013